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Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand

NIGEL RODDIS/REUTERS

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand was recalled to the England squad by manager Roy Hodgson on Thursday for this month's World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.

Ferdinand, capped 81 times, has not featured for England since June 2011, and was snubbed for the Euro 2012 finals in what Hodgson described as a "footballing decision".

John Terry's retirement from international football has left England short of pedigree in the central defensive areas, leading to his recall.

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Critics suggested the original reason Ferdinand was omitted from the Euro 2012 squad was because of tensions with Terry, who was involved in a racism row with Ferdinand's brother Anton.

Tottenham Hotspur's central defender Michael Dawson has also been included in the squad while there is a return for former Manchester United keeper Ben Foster after his recent decision to make himself available for his country again.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Ben Foster , Joe Hart, Fraser Forster.

Defenders: Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, Michael Dawson, Rio Ferdinand , Glen Johnson, Chris Smalling, Kyle Walker.

Midfielders: Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Aaron Lennon, James Milner, Leon Osman, Scott Parker, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Ashley Young.

Forwards: Jermain Defoe, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Daniel Welbeck.

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